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EASA Private Pilot Licence (PPL): A Guide to Training Requirements and Costs

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Deciding to Pursue an EASA PPL

So, you have decided to get your EASA private pilot’s licence. Now is the time to determine the cost. Let’s first look at the training requirements. I will focus on the PPL, but if you plan to go for the LAPL, it will require less training and be cheaper. Read more about PPL vs LAPL here.

Overview of Training Requirements

The training requirements for the EASA PPL are structured more or less the same for PPL and LAPL, only with less flight hours for the latter. Here’s an overview of the key training requirements:

  • Minimum Age: You must be at least 17 to obtain the PPL.
  • Medical Certificate: Before starting your training, you must obtain a Class 2 medical certificate from an EASA-authorized Aeromedical Examiner (AME).
  • Theory Knowledge: The theoretical knowledge training can be done in situ or online, and the syllabus covers nine subjects, including Air Law, Human Performance, Meteorology, Communications, Principles of Flight, Operational Procedures, Flight Performance and Planning, Aircraft General Knowledge, and Navigation. Students must pass exams in all these subjects. You can take the exam in your home country, or with Austro Control and Transport Malta at their designated exam sites.
  • Flight Training: You must complete a minimum of 45 hours (PPL) of flying training, which includes:
    • At least 25 hours of dual flight instruction.
    • At least 10 hours of supervised solo flight time, of which 5 hours must be solo cross-country flight time with at least one cross-country flight of at least 270 km (150 NM), during which full-stop landings at two different aerodromes are required.
  • Skill Test: After completing your theoretical and flight training, you must pass a practical skill test with an authorized examiner. The skill test assesses your ability to operate the aircraft safely and competently, including pre-flight preparation, navigation, executing manoeuvres, and handling emergencies.
  • Language Proficiency: You must demonstrate proficiency in the English language, meeting at least the operational level (ICAO Level 4). Some countries may also require proficiency in their national language.

It’s important to note that while these are the minimum requirements, many students may need more than the minimum hours to meet the standards required to pass the skill test. Training should be conducted at a Declared Training Organization (DTO) or an Approved Training Organization (ATO) that is recognized by the EASA.

Understanding the Costs

The cost of Private Pilot Licence (PPL) training and examination can vary widely, depending on several factors. These include the location of the flight school, the type of aircraft used for training, the frequency of training sessions, and the individual student’s pace of learning. Here’s a general breakdown to give you an idea:

  1. Flight Training Costs: This constitutes the bulk of the expense and includes both the aircraft rental and the instructor’s fee for each flying hour. The hourly rate can vary significantly depending on the country and flight school. On average, you might expect to pay between €180 and €220 per flight hour. Given the requirement of at least 45 hours of flight training for PPL, this should amount to approximately €8,000 to €10,000
  2. Theoretical Instruction Costs: This covers the ground school where you learn the theoretical aspects of flying necessary to pass the nine written exams. Costs can range from €500 and up, depending on the instruction format (online vs. in-person), and what’s included in the course.
  3. Books and Materials: You’ll need study materials, books, and navigation tools, which can cost between €200 and €400. It may or may not be included in the theory course.
  4. Examination Fees: Each theoretical exam and the skill test have associated fees. These can vary, but you might expect to pay around €60 to €150 per written exam, and the skill test fee can range from €250 to €500, depending on the examiner and location.
  5. Medical Examination: The cost for obtaining a Class 2 medical certificate can range from €100 to €250.
  6. Additional Costs: These may include landing fees, fuel surcharges, headset rental or purchase, and insurance, which could add up to a lot more. Don’t fall for the trap of apparently very low aircraft rental, only to have to pay for all extras on top. Read the small writing.
  7. English Language Proficiency Test: If required, the cost for the language proficiency test can vary, generally ranging from €100 to €250.

Adding all these elements, the total cost for obtaining a EASA PPL typically starts €10.000 and goes up. You should budget for more than the minimum required hours, as many need additional flight time to reach the proficiency necessary to pass the practical test.

Final recommendations

Prices can vary widely based on the factors mentioned above, so it’s advisable that you to research and contact several flight schools to get detailed quotes and understand precisely what is included in their training packages. Beware that weather conditions, location of the airport and availability of aeroplanes and instructors, will have a great influence on your training, and therefore also the cost.

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Theoretical knowledge course for the private pilot licence

Included in the course

  • Three years of access to the e-books via the Padpilot e-Reader
  • One-year access to online progress tests and final exam
  • One-year access to the examination question database from Aircademy
  • Instructor support throughout the course
  • Course completion certificate

Online Theoretical Knowledge Course for the EASA Private Pilot Licence

What is included in the course? Three years of access to the e-books via the Padpilot e-Reader When enrolled in the Skypilot Academy course, you receive three-year access to e-books…